Hong Kong and ASEAN conclude Free Trade Agreement negotiations (with photos)

     Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced today (September 9) the conclusion of the negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement.

     The announcement was made at the 2nd ASEAN Economic Ministers-Hong Kong, China Consultations (AEM-HKC Consultations), co-chaired by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, and the Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, Mr Ramon Lopez, in Pasay City, the Philippines. Economic Ministers or their representatives of the ASEAN Member States also attended the meeting.

     "ASEAN is a very important trading partner of Hong Kong. It was our second largest trading partner in merchandise trade in 2016 and the fourth largest in services trade in 2015. Our economy stands to benefit from the FTA and the Investment Agreement, which will bring us more and better access to the ASEAN markets, create new business opportunities and further enhance trade and investment flows," Mr Yau said.

     "Hong Kong and ASEAN will sign the FTA and the Investment Agreement in November this year. The Agreements are comprehensive in scope and the commitments therein are of value, encompassing trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical co-operation and dispute settlement mechanisms. The FTA will become effective after completion of the necessary procedures."

     The FTA negotiations between Hong Kong and ASEAN commenced in July 2014 and were completed in July 2017. The total merchandise trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN amounted to HK$833 billion in 2016, and total services trade between the two sides was HK$121 billion in 2015. On investment, as at the end of 2015, ASEAN ranked sixth among Hong Kong's destinations of outward direct investment, with a stock of HK$218 billion, and it ranked sixth among Hong Kong's sources of inward direct investment, with a stock of HK$555 billion.

     ASEAN comprises Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Ends/Saturday, September 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 10:21